Resistance is futile, so here’s a recap of Roger’s Year in Music 2018.


This year I’m keeping it simple, with a Top Ten list of favorite albums (2018 releases only), an assortment of ephemera, and the year’s complete accounting of album acquisitions.

In calculating the Top Ten list of music playing in my head, I ask myself several questions.

  • Which albums did I hear most often? 
  • Did they have multiple, memorable songs, as opposed to one or two? 
  • Did they play a part as soundtracks helping to define my year? 
  • Will I be likely to return to them regularly in the future?

In fact, almost all the albums I acquired in 2018 had a memorable song, and sometimes two. However, they’re albums, and I categorize them according to the whole of the experience. If this sounds like doomed defiance in the face of a playlist world, then that’s exactly the case.

10 The Vaccines … Combat Sports
9 The Coral … Move Through the Dawn
8 Gaz Coombes … World’s Strongest Man
7 The Struts … Young & Dangerous
6 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever … Hope Downs
5 Shame … Songs of Praise
4 Suede … The Blue Hour
3 Parquet Courts … Wide Awake
2 Johnny Marr … Call the Comet
1 Manic Street Preachers … Resistance is Futile

If truth be told, these additional two albums belong in the “top” list with an asterisk — because they weren’t released in 2018. But I enjoyed them very much, and they’ll always remind me of 2018.

The Charlatans … Different Days (2017)
The Courteeners … Mapping the Rendezvous (2016)

As a side note: Noel Gallagher’s Who Built the Moon from 2017 has remained front and center of my album listening throughout the year 2018. Longevity like this is rare in my world of tunes; when the calendar page turns, I generally move forward. Who Built the Moon wasn’t my pick for top album in 2017, at least at the time when the 2017 list was selected.

Now? Maybe it would be another story.

Another side note: I’ve richly enjoyed Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth, and treat it separately because I listen to jazz differently than rock and pop. The same goes for classical music, and Last Leaf by the Danish String Quartet.

In reverse chronological order, here are all the NA Confidential posts from 2018 with the label Roger’s Year in Music 2018.

And, to conclude, the albums I acquired last year. It has been a recurring theme in recent years; the rock and rock-influenced pop music I prefer is diminishing. An early scan of the projected 2019 release schedule reveals three, maybe four albums of interest to me. There will be others, but the point is clear.

In 2019, maybe it’s time to turn back to opera. 

Album releases 2018, November and December
The Struts … Young & Dangerous
The 1975 … A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
Muse … Simulation Theory
Parcels … Parcels

Album releases 2018, September and October
Sleaford Mods EP
Paul McCartney … Egypt Station
Suede … The Blue Hour
Paul Weller … True Meanings
Blossoms … Cool Like You
Bill Champlin & WunderGround … Bleeding Secrets
The Coral … Move Through the Dawn
Neil and Liam Finn … Lightsleeper
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever … Hope Downs
The Courteeners … Mapping the Rendezvous (2016)
Ray Davies … Our Country: Americana Act II

Album releases 2018, July and August
James … Living in Extraordinary Times
Houndmouth … Golden Age
Florence and the Machine … High as Hope
Gaz Coombes … World’s Strongest Man
Peace … Kindness Is the New Rock and Roll

Album releases 2018, May and June
Kamasi Washington … Heaven and Earth
Matthew Sweet … Tomorrow’s Daughter
Manic Street Preachers … Resistance is Futile
Johnny Marr … Call the Comet
Parquet Courts … Wide Awake
Arctic Monkeys … Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
Snow Patrol … Wildness
Chvrches … Love Is Dead

Album releases 2018, March and April
The Vaccines … Combat Sports
The Decemberists … I’ll Be Your Girl
The Len Price 3 … Nobody Knows (2015)
Neon Waltz … Strange Hymns
Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth-Boogie in 1980s South Africa
The Charlatans …Tellin’ Stories (1997)
The Charlatans … Modern Nature (2015)
Travis … Where You Stand (2013)

Album releases 2018, January and February
The Charlatans … Different Days (2017)
Insecure Men … Insecure Men
Wild Beasts … Last Night All My Dreams Came True
The Len Price 3 … Kentish Longtails (2017)
Travis … Everything at Once (2016)
Simple Minds … Walk Between Worlds
Franz Ferdinand … Always Ascending
Danish String Quartet … Last Leaf
Django Django … Marble Skies
Shame … Songs of Praise
Django Django … Born Under Saturn (2015)